Compassion is essential for effective collaboration among healthcare professionals, patients and families. Conventional wisdom and evidence support the importance of compassionate healthcare. So why then are the concepts and skills related to empathy and compassion not routinely taught, modeled and assessed across the continuum of learning and practice?
And more importantly, how do we integrate compassion and collaboration into health professional education and clinical care so that caregivers can provide compassionate, person- and family-centered care that is relationship-based?
Convening for Compassionate, Collaborative Care
To address this paradigm shift, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, in collaboration with the Macy Foundation and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, convened more than 80 healthcare experts—from patients, family members and advocates to clinicians, health professions educators, licensure and accreditation agency representatives, funders and administrators—with the goal of discussing and recommending ways in which compassion and collaboration can be better integrated into health professional education and clinical care.
The Triple C
Conferees agreed that compassionate, collaborative care, or The Triple C, as we are now calling it, is essential if we are to achieve The Triple Aim of improving health and experiences of care while controlling costs. They shared their own experiences, listened to and discussed patient, family and caregiver stories and cases and commented on a discussion paper and competency framework of needed attributes and behaviors.
During the conference, they formulated four actionable recommendations to advance The Triple C — details of which are summarized in the full conference report:
- Involve patients and families as partners in health professional education, in their own care and in co-designing healthcare delivery
- Educate patients, families and healthcare professionals about the importance of The Triple C and align needed competencies with existing education, assessment and standards
- Conduct research to measure The Triple C at all levels (individuals, teams and organizations) and study its outcomes
- Incentivize and reward attainment of The Triple C
Working Together Toward a Compassionate Standard of Care
The Triple C is necessary to achieve The Triple Aim. It is what practitioners want to provide and what patients and families want and need. The work ahead lies in understanding and leveraging the support needed to make The Triple C the standard of care in every healthcare organization and system—and in every interaction. Our organizations look forward to working with various stakeholders, including health professions educators, accreditation and licensure organizations, clinicians and administrators, as well as patient and family advocates, to make this a reality.
Have ideas on how to make this happen? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.